Botanical Sketchbook

Mary Ann Scott

with Margaret Stevens
Foreword by Sir Roy Strong

in Association with The Society of Botanical Artists

and tone. “It depends entirely on the flower. Right: Gladiolus bud. the emphasis of the two previous assignments had been more on technique and accuracy of color than composition. perhaps because there is so much available. and smooth or hirsute. there is a huge range of flowers from which to choose. we want to see the various elements brought together in a single-variety study showing leaves. colors. Now we were being asked to pay more attention to the balance of shapes. rather than a mechanical representation. Opposite page: Gladiolus and Peruvian lily.ASSIGNMENT 4 Single Flower Study Margaret Stevens: In Assignment 4. This calls for sharp observation because the tutor will be looking for details such as accuracy in describing the leaf joints and the stem. A regular question is “Does it need to be just one flower?” to which I reply. but students are sometimes at a loss. flowers. variable in width. but some genera. All these elements should combine to lead the eye into the painting and to give the impression of a living plant. and to the habit of growth. and stems.” One beautiful rose with its bud and leaves in the style of Redouté is suitable. Mary Ann Scott : Although we were always encouraged to place the leaves and flowers on the paper in a pleasing and interesting way. for example. but so too is a cluster of rambling roses. look better in an odd-numbered group rather than as a single stem. which can be round. A single incurved chrysanthemum flowerhead may be someone’s preference to a stem of spray chrysanthemums. to the empty spaces between shapes. ridged. 2 . Naturally. daffodils. square.

with its flounced petals and succession of hues from the lime-green buds to the warm yellow of the opened blooms. ALSTROEMERIA I was attracted to the soft pinks and yellows of a small bunch of Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily) I saw in the supermarket.GLADIOLUS After completing the flower page for the previous assignment. The half-open bud of a purple gladiolus was also fun to work on. I wanted to be able to depict variations of hue and tone in a softer. A spray of Gladiolus provided a fine subject to practice on. When this was dry. more unified way. A quick sketch gave me the opportunity to practice blending a mix of Permanent Rose and Cadmium Yellow into Cadmium Pale. I felt dissatisfied with the results of my efforts. all the detail seemed to distract the eye rather than enhance the form. and I thought that by trying to improve my technique of wet-into-wet. single flower study 3 . I enjoyed showing the papery texture of the sepals and the way they enclosed the emerging petals with hints of violet showing through the layers of pale green. I painted in the characteristic spotting on the petals with a finer brush. My flowers and leaves looked overworked. I would be heading in the right direction.

We encourage them to choose a site. who accompanied expeditions in the past – though working closer to home. the students will not encounter the life-threatening hazards both of these men faced. study the flora over a period of time. 4 Botanical Sketchbook . yet I also felt a small tingle of excitement – surely this was what being a botanical illustrator was all about. we want to see one or two complete pages of worked-up studies from these notes and observations. the students must work outside. The moment had come when I would have to abandon the well-lit comfort of my workplace and brave the elements. this assignment seemed rather alarming. and record it in their sketchbooks. Eventually. Above: Crow garlic or wild onion.ASSIGNMENT 8 Working in the Field Margaret Stevens: For this assignment. Mary Ann Scott: At first. This is the closest our students will come to sharing the experiences of botanical artists such as John Sibley and Jacques le Moyne de Morgues.

. working in the field 5 Flowers .Above: Crow garlic and goatsbeard.

The main flowering stem was set between these. the leaf bracts. yellow greens with cooler. while another made a graceful curve in the foreground. In what was essentially a study in green. bluer hues. I aimed to create interest by paying attention to significant details such as the deeply channelled and winged petioles. and the elaborately structured racemes. Depth was created by contrasting warmer. 6 Botanical Sketchbook .The composition was planned around the three superimposed leaves with their conspicuous veins.

A mix of Quinacridone Red and Winsor Red seemed to catch the nuances of color well.Camellia sasanqua “Yuletide” The single red flowers of this beautiful camellia begin to open before Christmas and continue until early spring. according to the weather. with a little Scarlet Lake to add brilliance and a watery wash of Permanent Rose glazed over the highlights to soften and unify. I noticed that the color of the petals varied considerably. Moving On 7 . pinker shade. while milder weather would turn the petals a softer. A sharp frost would produce deeper shades of crimson.

81⁄2 × 10 7⁄8 . Botanical Sketchbook is sure to inspire artists of all skill levels. She is author of The Art of Botanical Painting and The Botanical Palette. Contents FOREWORD by Sir Roy Strong INTRODUCTION by Margaret Stevens and Mary Ann Scott ASSIGNMENTS Drawing ✳ Leaves ✳ Flowers ✳ Single Flower Study Fruit ✳ Vegetables ✳ Botanical Illustration Working in the Field Working from Photographs Mixed Flowers ✳ Diploma Portfolio MOVING ON COLOR CHARTS AUTHOR’S NOTE Mary Ann Scott received a Diploma with Distinction on the Distance Learning Course run by the Society of Botanical Artists and became a full member in 2009. It is beautifully illustrated and packed with practical advice on all aspects of botanical painting in watercolor.95 Available September 2010 . Margaret Stevens is the President of the Society of Botanical Artists and Course Director of the Distance Learning Diploma course. who offered advice and critique. While studying for a Distance Learning Diploma from the Society of Botanical Arts. $24. Mary Ann Scott began an extraordinary correspondence with Margaret Stevens. Hardcover. 128 pages ISBN: 978-1-59668-232-0. the society’s President.Discover Artistic Growth Experience a master class in botanical illustration through one woman’s development from enthusiastic amateur painter to accomplished botanical artist. Including firsthand accounts of the joys and challenges Mary Ann faced as she progressed through the course.

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